Vase foes on spy trip

Spying mission: Pictured from the left are Chris Lister, John Simpkins and Ray McLaughlin
Spying mission: Pictured from the left are Chris Lister, John Simpkins and Ray McLaughlin

BRIGHOUSE Town had visitors in the form of Newport IOW club secretary-assistant manager John Simpkins, plus a couple of fans who came to take in the game against Parkgate last Saturday, writes Emily Anderson.

“We got the 6am ferry crossing this morning to Portsmouth and then drove up here, found the ground and then headed into Brighouse for a walk round,” said Simpkins. “All the games were off on the island and on the mainland in our area, Portsmouth in League One being the biggest game, because we have had so much rain and the pitches are all waterlogged.

“As we drove through Northampton we hit snow and we did wonder what we would find the further north we came. It’s cold up here for us southerners.

“Its funny but when we were drawn against Brighouse a lot of the locals said that they had family from Brighouse and the surrounding areas, so we had heard of the town.”

They left on the final whistle and set off on the long journey back to Portsmouth hoping to make the 9pm ferry. They arrived at one minute past nine and the crew refused to let them on board despite the club being sponsored by White Link Ferries who operate from Portsmouth and Lymington and allow them free travel for their coach every other week.

They returned to their car and had a sleep before catching the midnight ferry.

“We had a good journey down and clocked the round trip at 580 miles,” said Simpkins, who revealed his worry this week is not frost but more rain or snow.

“We have had more than ever this past six months and we are saturated so fingers crossed we will get this game on.

“We had 560 for the FA Cup second round tie with Salisbury this season and the Brighouse tie has whetted more appetites on the island.

“We should be at full strength barring any illness or training injuries as we have no suspended players. The team is made up of all islanders playing under manager Steve Brougham and has been like that for some three years now.

“We don’t have the pulling power on an island this size that maybe Brighouse have by trawling West Yorkshire but we do have some talented lads and Steve and I are working well with them. We are having a good league and cup season which has been interrupted with the weather and we are some four games behind the rest.”